Usually when people ETS from the Army they moved back home. Not always, but it seems to be more common than not. And when people find out Ben is getting out of the Army in June, they ask us if we are going back to California.
We are not.
Is this a good or a bad thing? I really don't know. Would I love to move back to California? Yes, but I don't know. If California wasn't so expensive, I would in a heartbeat. If we could find a home like we have now for about the same price, totally.
Do I miss the nice weather? Yes! Do I miss being close to family? Yes! Do I miss the California culture? Yes!
But...the reality is...we just can't afford it. Even if we both got full-time jobs we probably couldn't afford to live in a decent place. It scares me to think about moving back only to struggle because of the cost of living. Not that we have a ton of extra money right now. And really, we are still trying to work out jobs for after the Army, but still.
I like the idea of our kids staying at the same school a little longer. Of not having to change too much in their daily lives. A move to California would be a BIG change and one I am not sure I am ready to make. We moved out of California in 2005 because of the cost of living. I don't want to move back only to feel like we gave that up.
It's complicated. I dream about living close to my parents. Of dropping by for dinner once a week. Of meet my Mom at the mall for a shopping trip. Of meeting up with my brother and his wife for dinner. Of not having to miss any of my Dad's choir performances. Of not having to miss any birthdays and always being able to see my family whenever I want. My family is pretty small and other than an aunt, uncle and cousin in Colorado, they are all in Southern California. My husband's family is in Northern California. Family=California to both of us.
And I tell myself, I can love Tennessee, I can love it here and stay forever. It's not a big deal. We can visit every year. Not a big deal. But it is quite a big deal. It is pretty expensive to fly all five of us out there. We can drive but, that requires having time off to do so.
We really just need something to happen. Something we can't see right now. Something big that can bring us back home. We just keep praying about it. That is all we can do right now. It seems big, it seem like too big of an issue to be able to figure out at the moment.
So my answer to, "Will you be moving back to California?" is, "Not right now, but it would be nice someday." Until that time I will try hard to be content here and enjoy what Tennessee does have to offer. Because it isn't a horrible place, not at all. It just isn't home.
Are you homesick? Are you hoping to "go home" someday too?